Farmer Will Allen and the Growing Table (Tales of the Dairy Godmother)
Written by VJacqueline Briggs Martin
Art by Eric-Shabazz Larkin
Agriculture is a unifying factor for communities all over. Whether you have 100 acres or a rooftop, there are opportunities for growing food and sharing the journey from soil to table with those around, as illustrated in Farmer Will Allen and the Growing Table. This book will take students on an explorative journey learn about community gardens and inspire them to build communities through food, even if they only have a pot on their porch to cultivate.
Will Allen is no ordinary farmer. A former basketball star, he's as tall as his truck, and he can hold a cabbage, or a basketball, in one hand. But what is most special about Farmer Will is that he can see what others can't see. When he looked at an abandoned city lot he saw a huge table, big enough to feed the whole world. No space, no problem. Poor soil, there's a solution. Need help, found it. Farmer Will is a genius in solving problems. Jacqueline Briggs Martin tells the inspiring story of an innovator, educator, and community builder. Combined with artist Eric-Shabazz Larkin's striking artwork, readers will share Will Allen's optimism and determination to bring good food to every table. This story also showcases the unique diversity of agricultural operations that is especially applicable to New York's combination of rural, suburban, and urban lanscapes.
NYS Assemblymember Jaime Williams reads Farmer Will Allen and the Growing Table.
Adirondack Worm Farm owner Bill Richmond shares a look into his commercial compost business and worm farm operation.
Meet Farmer Will Allen
Farmer Will Allen is visiting New York during Agricultural Literacy Week! Classrooms will have the chance to meet Mr. Allen, ask him questions about his life and experiences, and walk through an urban farm in Schenectady County with him as he talks about worms, soil, and compost through a virtual experience.
LIVE Virtual Experience
Friday, March 25, 2022
Companion Lessons and Resources
You can share these additional resources with the classes your volunteers read to so teachers may prepare their students for Agricultural Literacy Week or extend the learning afterwards in their classrooms.
Students observe how earthworms speed the decomposition of organic matter and identify how this adds nutrients to the soil that are important for plant growth by constructing worm habitats from milk jugs.
On the cramped urban campus of Boston Latin School, students grow an acre’s worth of vegetables in an old shipping container that’s been transformed into a computer-controlled hydroponic farm. Using a wall-mounted keyboard or a mobile app, the student farmers can monitor their crops, tweak the climate, make it rain and schedule sunrise. Use this article to illustrate an example of hydroponics, the use of technology in agriculture, and/or urban farming.
This 17-minute basic how-to video is available for free download. Learn what makes compost happen, what items you should and shouldn't compost, how to build your own compost bin, the "recipe" for great compost, and how to use your compost.
This four-minute video tells the story of Kevin, who's been fascinated with garbage since he was really little. He wanted to put an end to landfills and make it easier for people to recycle. How? Worms decompose organic waste! Learn how can worms help us with our garbage in this engaging video.
Right in the middle of Marcy's city block is a vacant lot, littered and forlorn. Sometimes just looking at it makes Marcy feel sad. Then one spring, Marcy has a wonderful idea: instead of a useless lot, why not a green and growing space for everyone to enjoy? With her warm, hopeful text and inviting illustrations, DyAnne DiSalvo-Ryan shows how a whole neighborhood blossoms when people join together and get involved.
Filled with excitement, a city girl and her father pick out a wonderful assortment of flowers, carry them home, and, sitting on newspaper, lovingly transplant them to a window box as a birthday surprise for Mom.
This collection of poems takes young readers to a day at an urban farmers' market. Who to see, what to eat, and how produce is grown—it's all so exciting, fresh, and delicious. Readers are invited to peruse the stands and inspect vendors' wares with poems like "Farmer Greg's Free-Range Eggs," "Summer Checklist," and "Necessary Mess."
Harlem Grown: How One Big Idea Transformed a Neighborhood
Harlem Grown tells the inspiring story of how one man made a big difference in a neighborhood. After seeing how restless they were and their lack of healthy food options, Tony Hillery invited students from an underfunded school to turn a vacant lot into a beautiful and functional farm. By getting their hands dirty, these kids turned an abandoned space into something beautiful and useful while learning about healthy, sustainable eating and collaboration. Five years later, the kids and their parents, with the support of the Harlem Grown staff, grow thousands of pounds of fruits and vegetables a year. All of it is given to the kids and their families.
Joe is a boy just like any other, but with a bigger imagination. Joe lives in an ordinary apartment building in a rather ordinary city. His world is rather gray. But he spends his time imagining a wonderful, colorful world filled with exotic plants and unusual animals. One day, Joe decides to plant a seed on his balcony. He waits and waits, but nothing happens! Joe gives up and returns to his daily life, but when he least expects it, he sees that the seed has taken root and turned into the most beautiful tree.